How Tom Cruise inspired Christian Bale’s performance

A Tom Cruise interview inspired Christian Bale’s “idea of ​​a Patrick Bateman,” and it was absolutely perfect for the American Psycho film adaptation.

Tom Cruise was the perfect inspiration for Patrick Bateman’s performance of Christian Bale in American psychoand it’s even more significant because of a shared connection between the movie, Patrick Bateman, and the Impossible mission serial actor. American psycho is a film adaptation of the 1991 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. American psycho has always been a cult classic, it has been particularly popular in recent years thanks to its vast treasure trove of meme-worthy content. Much of the credit for that goes to Christian Bale and his iconic performance as Patrick Bateman.


Patrick Bateman is a Wall Street investment banker who invests heavily to be young, handsome, and fit. The Upper West Side resident is obsessed with modern trends in art and music, and he’s known for his sweaty passion for Paul Allen’s calling card, wistful thoughts on Whitney’s debut album Houston and her propensity for duty”return video tapes.” However, he is also known to be a serial killer, although American psychoThe end of Patrick Bateman does not engage on what Patrick Bateman actually did compared to what he fantasized.

Related: American Psycho: What If Leonardo DiCaprio Played Patrick Bateman

Be that as it may, Patrick Bateman’s career in American psycho is remarkable thanks to the performance of Christian Bale. According American psycho co-writer and director Mary Harron, Christian Bale saw Tom Cruise on David Letterman’s show and observed how “[Tom Cruise] just had this very intense conviviality with nothing behind the eyes.” Christian Bale was inspired by this interview, and his subsequent performance as Patrick Bateman proved key in highlighting American psychois the common theme of identity.

Why Christian Bale’s Tom Cruise Inspiration Was Perfect For American Psycho

Identity is a key theme in American Psycho. There are even cases of mistaken literal identity, like Paul Allen confusing Patrick Bateman with Marcus Halberstram. However, the protagonist with “killer looks“struggles with self-identity as Bateman consciously recognizes that he is not all there. Christian Bale harnesses the power of deceiving appearances by letting Bateman’s outer facade crack almost imperceptibly at times; when he encounters a acquaintance at the dry cleaners, his face is pleasant during the interaction but turns to pure hate when he walks through the door and looks back for half a second. American psycho The performance is mostly remembered for the angular moments, but it’s those kinds of little details that make Bale’s performance so great and Patrick Bateman onscreen so terrifying. It was this duplicity, identified and suggested by Bale on Cruise’s part in the Letterman interview, that made Impossible mission actor an interesting inspiration.

Of course, there’s no suggestion that Cruise ever experienced anything close to Bateman’s extreme psychological issues. However, there remains a surprising and intriguing connection between the two that goes beyond Bale’s comments. In the American psycho source material, Bateman actually shares a building with Cruise, inviting direct comparison between the fictional and non-fictional characters, even before Bale uses Cruise to inspire his own performance. This complex relationship is further linked to American psychoThe theme of identity in a way that even Bret Easton Ellis might not have known when he made neighbors Patrick Bateman and Tom Cruise in his novel nine years before the film adaptation.

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